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TOPIC: first big game?

first big game? 2 years 8 months ago #28315

So this post is something more for a bit of advice.

First a small background. This is now my 12th year as a referee. However my first 11 was with a non sanctioned organization doing a two man system. Now I’m doing all USSF sanctioned matches for the last 7 months. I know the game and the laws for the most part. (minus the dangerous play post) But Im just not getting used to the technical part as AR. Like mirroring the other linesman for Subs, making sure if the flag crosses my body it’s under the waist, always having the flag face the field etc. etc. etc. I feel right at home being in the center however and being in the center has allowed me; in my mind; to take better control of the game.

Ok, this Sunday, I get to do my First Maryland major’s game and the center for the game is being assessed. It’s an amateur USSF sanctioned Men’s league and it has me excited to do the game. However, I’m a bit nervous and worried I might not be ready for the game. Can anyone give me some pointers, or some advice so that I don’t screw up my chance to come back and do this league again? Perhaps how to keep the excitement from having me make some minor mistakes? I’m confident in that I know what I’m doing when it comes to the laws of the game, but I know I’m usually a person that gets overly excited and don’t perform my best at first opportunities. (like when I shoot for the first time in a new pool team my game is horrendous)
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first big game? 2 years 8 months ago #28319

My only comment would be to make sure you are always in the correct position on the offside line and follow the ball to the end line. When doing two-man, you sometimes cheat on positioning (base don what an AR would do)to enable better calling of fouls. Now, you always need to be on the offside line to make the best decision as the center has primary responsibility for fouls and you have offside and in/out of play.
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first big game? 2 years 8 months ago #28321

Yep, your first priority is position. The way to be sure to nail this is totally ignore the ball. I had someone tell me the worst seat in the house is the AR. Stay totally focused on the 2nd to last defender and run all the way to the goal line. Another tip is to keep good eye contact with your CR. This becomes crucial on those iffy calls. No matter what he says about calls in your quadrant you should always make eye contact with the CR before pointing the flag. Last, wait and see! Do not pop that offside flag too soon. Make absolutely sure that the player in the offside position is invovled in active play.
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first big game? 2 years 8 months ago #28324

Re Rob Strout

"Stay totally focused on the 2nd to last defender"

What about the position of the ball?
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first big game? 2 years 8 months ago #28335

The phrase "... center ... is being assessed" does not make it clear that you have flag duty or whistle, however reading between the lines, it looks like flag duty.

A few nerves is good, gets you outside your comfort-zone.

Firstly, be as open with the center as you are with the forum posting.

Secondly, try and forget the game is being assessed, just go about how you have been going about all the other times when no assessor is around; it has worked for you all these years, no reason that it will stop now.

Thirdly, do and get a proper pre-game conference with whistler, esp the mechanics during a foul in the penalty area, substitution procedure, injury management, free kick management in your area of control, what to do during mass confrontation, when time is up.

Fourthly, remember, it is likely the first call could be yours to make after the kick-off. It may be as simple as ball went out of play, or a goal scored within the opening minute. The former is easy, as the ball went out of play, look at the centre and agree with a pre-determined discreet signal which direction will the throw-in be. And for the latter, just keep running until you go the corner flag, then signal appropriately.

Fifthly, as you are comfortable taking charge of the match, help the whistler take charge of the match. In other words, do not force a call unless and until you are certain s/he has had no chance of seeing the infraction (for instance, deliberate handling or holding on blind side). The mechanic is simple, first, place the flag in appropriate hand, then look at the referee, and then if straight lined, then help out with signalling the infraction. It is acceptable to say or demonstrate jersey hold, handling, push, whatever.

Always face the field, especially during dead-ball situations. The only time you will look at the ground in front of you will be during the field inspection where you find the divots, or holes, or sandy spots, or manhole covers, whatnots in your patrolling path; read up the "know your surroundings" in the blog section. Know that you are assistant, and not a ball handler, so dont extend/reach for it, unless it comes direct full-bore at you then avoid getting hit. Signal only once, and only until the referee has seen your signal; hold signal until at least one field player sees your signal.

When action comes near you at the touchline, move back and away from the touchline by a yard to give you a better view and angle. Find out how effect of positioning affects decisions with time -

Be fully on, right from when you help check-in players to the post-match hand-shakes. The players will sense if you are green, and will take advantage, so do not let them. Look them in the eye when you talk to them (not shout). During the game, a short 2-to-3 word phrase suffices, ball went out here, you pulled him, you kicked him, turn down 1-notch, elbows were out, I may suck, but not here, get on with it, conferences later, more soccer, less talk, ready for sub, go halfway first ...

Ah yes, have a good night's rest, and a good fuel 2h prior to match.
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